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Technology keeps construction and industry on track

Level the playing field

Technology is an important ingredient for growth and innovation in any business.

For construction and industrial maintenance projects, it can inform hiring decisions, reduce costs, and help companies do more with less, which is especially important when equipment, materials, and labor work are rare.

Technology must therefore be at the heart of any construction site. Innovations, such as building a fleet of smart, connected equipment, can harness the power of data to improve efficiency and customer understanding, and help keep people safe.

Realize the power of telemetry

While data has always existed, its potential has not always been fully exploited. But as more cost-effective telemetry devices have come to market and the IoT has evolved, these developments have enabled data to be leveraged and better used across a wide range of industries and customer applications.

Across the Coates fleet, telemetry sensors now capture real-time flow rates for safe water management. They measure loads placed on structural props for safe excavation.

They also inform proactive asset maintenance and help industrial companies locate and understand the usage of tools, equipment and consumables. The opportunities for telemetry to inform and improve customer operations are limitless.

Unleash the value of data

The real value of telemetry, however, lies not in the raw data it generates, but in analyzing and interpreting that data to uncover business insights.

Alongside telemetry sensors, we use asset management technologies such as SiteIQ (replacing CHASE) and productivity tools such as Smart Site to help customers reduce costs, increase business efficiency and guide delivery customer- and market-oriented solutions.

For example, late last year, Coates supplied, tracked and monitored the tools and equipment for a major upgrade at Mount Piper Power Station in New South Wales.

By eliminating unnecessary hires and making it easier to return equipment that would otherwise sit idle on site, a data-driven approach helped this client improve tooling time efficiency by 80%.

And while helping customers reduce hiring may seem counterintuitive, it’s important to remember that efficiency is a two-way street, with benefits on both sides.

From a market perspective, once efficiencies enable equipment leasing for a customer, they can also be used to support other businesses facing similar challenges with equipment demand and supply. .

Put technology at risk

Replacing people performing high-risk, high-cost tasks is another high-value application of technology in the construction and industrial sectors.

Bespoke drones are increasingly being used to perform pre-start safety inspections on construction sites, and for remote inspections of assets during industrial maintenance.

Sending drones into these environments instead of people eliminates the need for access equipment such as scaffolding, ropes and booms, and helps companies protect their most important assets.

For inspecting industrial assets like cooling towers, drones also enable the creation of highly accurate 3D models and digital twins to guide current and future maintenance.

No matter how far your technology strategy has gone, there will always be opportunities for technologies like these to level the playing field and mitigate industry challenges. And there will always be productivity, efficiency and safety gains to be made.

Murray Vitlich is CEO of Coates.